Posted: 24 September 2018

What's it like running the London Marathon?

This week we caught up with the Children's Society's very own Laura Balcombe, a 2018 London Marathon finisher. She talks costumes, playlists and why running the London Marathon for the Children's Society was one of the best experiences of her life.  

If you would like to run the London Marathon in support of vulnerable children and young people facing multiple disadvantages, then apply for our 2019 team today.




What made you want to run a marathon?

I’ve always enjoyed running for fun and to keep fit, and a marathon has been on my bucket list for a while. So, when I had the opportunity to support The Children’s Society London Marathon team, I jumped at the chance! 

Why did you choose to run for The Children's Society?

Having worked for The Children’s Society for over two years, I am constantly inspired by the truly amazing, life-changing work carried out by our project workers. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet young people who we've helped and now are ambassadors for the charity, and it's extremely humbling to be able to run and raise money to support this vital work. 

How did The Children's Society help you prepare for the marathon?

Everyone was truly amazing throughout my entire marathon experience, and I don’t think I could have made it to the finish line without them! Whether it was helping me fundraise, motivating me to go on training runs on a cold night after work, or the incredible support they gave me on the day, The Childen's Society were there for me from start to finish.

What was the hardest part of the London Marathon?

I have to say that the hardest part was training over the winter months. Fun fact: on one of my 22 mile runs it started snowing, so I actually resorted to eating the snow to hydrate myself!

'I actually resorted to eating snow to hydrate myself'

Raising £2,000 wasn’t easy either but I found that as long as you start early, plan in advance, share your fundraising page regularly (and appeal to people’s appetites!) you can have a steady flow of donations, with loads more coming in during the week of the marathon itself. My most successful fundraising events were cake sales in the office (surprise surprise!) and a curry night with friends who were all super generous. 

What was the best moment?

The best moments were actually passing the Children’s Society cheer points, and of course, crossing the finish line. The cheer points gave me an immeasurable boost and helped me keep running, resisting the temptation to walk even for just a few seconds! 

What was the best costume you saw?

I have to say that the Big Ben costume was probably my favourite – it must have been so heavy and hot, but the guy kept a great pace and was even swinging his arms like a pendulum! Very impressive.

Do you have any advice for people wanting to run the London Marathon?

Definitely do it – it will be one of the biggest challenges of your life but also one of your biggest achievements.

What's your next challenge?

I’ve love to do another marathon one day and beat my time (perhaps on a cooler day) but I love hiking so the National Three Peaks challenge or Norwegian Seven Mountain challenge are really appealing. 




Still not sure if you want to run the London Marathon? Watch our 2018 runners talk about their experience:

By Laura Balcombe